Known as “football” throughout the rest of the world, called “soccer” in the US and a small handful of other locations, this sport is one of the world’s oldest and most popular. Yes, the FIFA World Cup is a big deal but it is far from the only time to wager on soccer – in fact, it occurs so rarely that it shouldn’t really be on any novice soccer bettor’s radar.
On a global scale, soccer is the most-played, most-taught, and most-watched sport of them all. The United States is quickly emerging as a betting country within the game of soccer, along with all the rest of the professional sports. DFS soccer has also become immensely popular at daily fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Soccer is a game that does not provide a bunch of scoring, but the physical conditioning of soccer players is amazing, and the skill level is outstanding. You can bet international soccer, or during the MLS season, bet on the games in the league here in the USA (and abroad if you’re visiting from outside North America). Here are our main soccer pages as well if you’re looking for information on individual leagues:
English Premier League (EPL)
Major League Soccer (MLS)
La Liga (Spain)
Types of Soccer Bets
- Moneyline Betting – When you bet on the moneyline in soccer, you have a third option that the game can end in a tie or “draw”. Many games are tied, including numerous times tied at 0. As always the better team or “favorite” would get better odds, but pay out less money. The “underdog”, which is the team that is expected to lose will have low odds, but pay out better money. An example of a moneyline bet in soccer looks like this: Chicago +345, Draw +220, Los Angeles -195.
- Totals Betting – Just like hockey, soccer allows you to make bets on the “total” amount of goals scored. The total is the amount of goals scored by both teams combined. Many soccer totals are set no higher than 4 or 4.5. When you find the line in the “total”, you elect whether you feel the total amount of goals will be more (over) or less (under). Most of the time, the totals are near even money, just with the juice that the book takes out. An example of a totals bet in soccer looks like this: Chicago/Los Angeles – 3.5, Over (-110), Under (-110).
- Prop Bets – Many soccer games will allow for prop bets. Prop bets are wagers that can be made on an action that will or will not occur during the game. Most prop bets in soccer include: Which team will score the first goal? How long will it take for the first goal, and which team will be ahead at halftime? Prop bets are good to play, if you are unsure on who will win the overall game.
- Future Bet – In a future bet, you can wager something in the game of soccer that will happen “in the future”. Many times, league will offer future bets on who will win the league title, or who will win the MVP, etc. When you make the future bet early on, you have the opportunity to get great odds. As the season continues, the odds may get better or worse, depending on the success/struggles of the team. An example of a future bet would be: Chicago to win the MLS title (550)
- Parlay Bet – in a parlay bet in soccer, you are wagering several teams on one bet. Whether it’s to win the game or totals bet on a certain game. The more games/teams you wager on the parlay bet – the higher your winnings will be. All of this is made on one bet. The kicker for a parlay bet – is ALL of the teams on a parlay card must win or the bet loses.
Tips for Soccer Betting
Placing smart bets on soccer events depends on a number of factors Here are areas where new soccer bettors should focus their attention when attempting to handicap matches.
- Injuries – As with any contact sport, injuries are common in soccer. The game is physical and the endurance and strength needed is incredible. Know which players are nursing an injury and also which players may not be playing.
- Goaltenders – The goaltender is the Quarterback of soccer, the starting pitcher of soccer. Though matches are not always determined by a straight-up contest between goaltenders, they have as big an impact on a match as any other single player. Some goaltenders are truly shut-down athletes, with the ability to completely dominate another team – but these athletes and contests are the exception rather than the rule.
- Recent Performance – A look at how Arsenal has performaned against Man U over the past 70 years is not nearly as important as the two teams’ most-recent performances. The same goes for players. Look at recent trends and head-to-head matches to handicap, and leave an historical appreciation of league performances to fans, not bettors.
- Emotion – In cases where national or regional pride are on the line, soccer can be impacted heavily by the emotion surrounding the game. Hundreds of thousands of fans are at live matches, many of them as married to their favorite football side as they are to their spouse. Understanding the emotions behind a match is as important as the head-to-head statistics involved.
Four Can’t Miss Soccer Wagers
FIFA World Cup – This event occurs every four years, but is among the most popular worldwide sports betting events of any year. The odds on favorites are victorious most of the time, but you do not want to miss out on the big time underdog sneaking a win!
MLS Finals – the professional league in the United States. Most of any American icons that exists in the world of soccer play in this league. Can provide some excellent action.
Premiere League Championship – The Barclays Premiere League features the ever popular Manchester United and Chelsea, along with the rest of the league. Some of the best soccer on the planet goes in with games in this league.
Olympic Soccer – Though it only takes place every four years, Olympics soccer betting is fun because of the limited number of professionals allowed to play for each side. FIFA and its popular World Cup have a major monopoly on the world’s best pros, though teams can have as many as 4 players over the age of 23, usually the best pros from their regions.
This, the world’s most popular sport, is also one of the world’s most wagered-on sports, though the number of unofficial “amateur” or private wagers probably outnumbers the officially-sanctioned wagers placed through sportsbooks by a factor of 10. The variety (in terms of number of teams, leagues, and betting opportunities) available to punters that try their hand at the soccer market is its biggest selling point as well as its biggest liability. Beginners to soccer betting should pay attention to the above advice, select a few leagues or teams to follow consistently, and wait to place wagers until they see opportunity. With that plan in place, soccer betting is more approachable and likely to be more successful.